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Microsoft is first brand to use AI visual support for blind and low-vision customers

Be My Eyes helps blind and low-vision people with visual tasks by connecting them with 7 million sighted human volunteers. Earlier this year, the organization introduced a new feature called Virtual Volunteer, which uses GPT-4 to provide instant assistance. Renamed Be My AI, the concept is now also available in a version that allows contact centers to supercharge customer support.

The tool is debuting at Microsoft's Disability Answer Desk, where Be My AI assists customers with any issues they're having with Microsoft products — whether installing a Windows update or figuring out why a formula isn't working in Excel. Everything is handled using natural language conversations and augmented by OpenAI's GPT-4 vision model, which allows customers to show their screens for the system to interpret.

In a pilot phase, Be My AI yielded impressive results. According to Be My Eyes, the tool achieved a 90% success rate in resolving queries without human involvement. It also reduced the average call duration to approximately four minutes, compared to twelve minutes when handled by live agents. Customer satisfaction ratings improved, too, with an average score of 4.85/5. Microsoft's Be My AI-powered Disability Answer Desk is available 24/7, and users can always choose to be routed to a flesh and blood agent.

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For blind and low-vision individuals, Be My AI significantly boosts autonomy, allowing them to solve problems without requiring human assistance. While Microsoft is ahead of most brands by offering a dedicated Disability Answer Desk, customers might not be in the mood to speak to a person; they could feel hesitant to ask a seemingly simple question or be too pressed for time to stay on hold until a human operator is available.

The use of GPT-4 and its vision model solves those problems. Be My AI is always available to chat, won't consider any query dumb, and is 68% faster than human operators. AI has the potential to transform support desks across industries. How will you harness intuitive tech to serve customers in a way that's both more inclusive and more efficient?